Large-sized fossilised lacewings prove remarkable species diversity during Middle Jurassic

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  • October 23, 2018
  • Middle Jurassic has always been considered as a mysterious ancient period full of ‘magical’ dinosaurs, pterosaurs and plants. However, when we think about the Jurassic landscape, we should take insects into consideration as well. The lacewings, for example, are a graceful group famous for the lovely net-like veins on their wings, beautiful enough to stand […]

    Newly discovered moth named Icarus sports a flame-shaped mark and prefers high elevations

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  • October 9, 2018
  • The paper describing the new species is part of a special issue dedicated to macro moths of the New World published in the open-access journal ZooKeys Newly-recognized species of owlet moth recently discovered to inhabit high-elevation mountains in western North America was named after the Greek mythological character Icarus. From now on, scientists will be […]

    The first drywood termite known to use snapping stick-like mandibles to defend its colony

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  • October 2, 2018
  • Tasked to defend the colony from attackers, the specialised soldier caste in some termite species has evolved various impressive mechanisms, including plug-like heads – meant to block intruding ants trying to invade their lairs, and mouthparts designed to bite and pierce. Still, there are even more spectacular soldiers, such as a recently discovered drywood termite […]

    Total of 21 new parasitoid wasps following the first ever revision of their genus

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  • September 11, 2018
  • As many as twenty-one species of parasitoid wasps are described as new to science, following the first ever revision of their genus since its establishment back in 1893. The study simultaneously updates the count of species within the genus (Chromoteleia) to 27 in total, produces a systematic revision of the world’s representatives of this group […]

    Right under our noses: A novel lichen-patterned spider found on oaks in central Spain

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  • August 8, 2018
  • It happened again, a previously unknown spider species, whose home is a strongly humanised European country, appears to have been quietly and patiently waiting to get noticed until very recently. Living on the trunks of oaks in Spain, the new species would have probably been spotted decades ago, had it not been for its sophisticated […]

    Mosquito populations give a new insight into the role of Caucasus in evolution

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  • August 6, 2018
  • We know that the Caucasus is a relatively large mountainous region, situated between Black and the Caspian seas. In its turn, it is divided into three subregions: Ciscaucasia, Greater Caucasus and Transcaucasia, also known as South Caucasus. A closer look into the chromosome structure of mosquito larvae of a curious group of species (Chironomus “annularius” sensu Strenzke (1959)), […]

    How many sharks, chimaeras, skates, and rays inhabit Mexico?

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  • July 12, 2018
  • Worldwide, Mexico is well-known for a lot of things: its cuisine, tequila, mariachis, pyramids, and beaches, as well as being the country with the most Spanish-speaking residents (more than 120 million people). In contrast, however, little is known for the country’s chondrichthyan fauna: a class of fishes containing the sharks, chimaeras, rays, and skates. To […]

    Described 28 years post-collection, new grass species makes a strong case for conservation

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  • July 6, 2018
  • Originally collected 28 years ago in Ecuador, new species Poa laegaardiana has been just described, only to find out its prospects for surviving in its type location seem bleak nowadays. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. When roaming in the Cordillera de los Andes of Ecuador, near the village of Facundo Vela, little did Smithsonian scientist and author, […]

    Out of the darkness: A new spider found deep within an Indiana cave

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  • June 28, 2018
  • Spiders are ubiquitous within our forests, fields, and backyards. Although you may be used to seeing the beautiful yellow and black spiders of the genus Argiope in your garden, large ground-scurrying wolf spiders in your yard, or spindly cellar spiders in your basement, this new sheet-web-building spider is probably one you haven’t seen before. The […]

    First-ever fern checklist for Togo to help decision makers in the face of threats to biodiversity

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  • June 22, 2018
  • Ferns and their allied species, which together comprise the pteridophytes, are vascular non-flowering plants that reproduce via spores. Many of their species are admired for their aesthetics. However, despite being excellent bioindicators that allow for scientists and decision-makers to monitor the state of ecosystems in the face of climate change and global biodiversity crisis, these […]